Los Cabos Rebounding Quickly From Hurricane Odile
Eleven days after Hurricane Odile made landfall in Los Cabos, it’s much easier to be optimistic about the area’s ability to bounce back quickly from the strongest storm ever to hit the Baja peninsula. Many shops and restaurants are now reopening in Cabo San Lucas, and thanks to determined efforts from Mexican military and resilient residents, the downtown area is beginning to look refreshingly familiar.
It’s quite amazing considering the initial devastation caused by the category 3 hurricane (she was category 4 at one point, but blessedly slowed down a bit before making landfall), which arrived locally on Sunday evening, September 14, with an average wind speed of 125 mph. Odile battered Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo until the wee hours of the morning, and went on to deliver widespread damages throughout many areas of Baja California Sur.
The sound of the wind as the storm tore through it very hard to describe, although it’s something no one who heard it will ever forget. The same goes for the sights. By midnight, entire tin roofs were blowing down the middle of Marina Boulevard, mature trees were pulled up by the roots or broken in half, cars were flipped over, glass was blown out everywhere…it was a terrifying spectacle.
And it looked even worse the next day. Returning to downtown Cabo San Lucas to survey the damage, it seemed as if a bomb had gone off. An ambitious filmmaker tasked with portraying the aftermath of a serious natural disaster would be hard pressed to come close to recreating the scene.
But there was little time for local residents to take in the sights. Most were initially concerned with trying to repair the damages to their homes – if indeed they still had any – and adjust to life without any modern conveniences. All of Los Cabos was basically blown back into the 19th century. Buckets of water were filled from cisterns for makeshift showers, or from swimming pools or other sources to flush toilets. Candles were lit. Dinners were shared affairs, with neighbors pitching in supplies.
In retrospect, that is the thing I will remember most about Hurricane Odile: how generous so many people were, and how so many neighborhoods banded together to help and protect each other.
Given that spirit and the huge amount of progress made with cleanup efforts, it’s easy to be optimistic as high tourist season approaches. Some rapidly approaching events, such as Cabo Comedy Festival and Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash, have been, respectively, postponed or cancelled. But Bisbee’s is proceeding with both its annual October fishing tournaments, Los Cabos Offshore and the lucrative Black & Blue, and the 3rd annual Los Cabos International Film Festival will take place as scheduled in early November.
Please feel free to visit.
All images courtesy of Caboholics.
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